Sony Begins Mass Production of OLED Displays

This month, Sony will begin mass production of a full-color Organic Light Emitting Diode (OLED) display. This is the same screen used in the newly announced Clie VZ90 handheld, and could be sold to other manufacturers for future products.

OLED display is a self-luminous display that does not require a back-light, offering high contrast ratio, a quick response time and wide viewing angle-all in a package slimmer than current LCD modules. To enhance this display, Sony has employed its unique Super Top Emission technology for outstanding brightness and greater color gamut. These translate into image quality and clarity that could previously viewed only on CRT (cathode ray tube) displays.

The new 3.8-inch (or 9.7 cm) screen measures 2.14 mm thin, and makes it possible for users to enjoy a variety of high-quality content such as TV programs and digital still images on mobiles products such as the new CLIE VZ90 handheld without compromising on the viewing experience.

Super Top Emission
As the name implies, Super Top Emission leads light emission from the upper side of the organic material, realizing a brightness level of 150cd per square meter. Also, by optimizing the thickness of the organic layer for each of the color components, RGB, Sony realized multi-interference of reflecting light. Additionally, with the cavity multi-reflection interference structure which enables emission of colors with high purity, bright and brilliant color gamut comparable to that of CRT is realized.

As OLED works with self-luminous organic materials, it has outstanding response time, without producing any afterimage even when displaying moving images (movies). Also with wide viewing angle and contrast ratio as high as 1000:1, high quality images can be realized on mobile products which are used in various occasions.

Main specifications for OLED display panel introduced in PEG-VZ90
Sony's OLED displayReference : Sony's equal level LCD display
(transmissive / reflective combined type)
Display Size9.7cm (3.8-inch)(same)
Number of Dots480xRGBx320 (HVGA)(same)
Dot Pitch56m168m(same)
Number of colors262,144colors(same)
Brightness150cd per square meter55cd per square meter
External Dimensions94.7mm(horizontal) 77.2mm(vertical) 2.14mm(thickness)
(thickness including the panel only and not including the protruding portions)
65.0mm(horizontal) 96.5mm(vertical ) 3.49mm(thickness)
(thickness includes the panel + backlight)
Response Time(at 25C, ON)? 0.01 Mil. sec.? 16 Mil. sec.
Color Gamut(NTSC* Ratio)
Approx. 100%Approx. 40%
Viewing AngleVertical: Approx. 180 degrees
Vertical: Approx. 130degrees
Horizontal: Approx. 125 degrees
Contrast Ratio
(in darkness)
Approx. 1000 : 1Approx. 100 : 1

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Looks great

chinchorrero @ 9/15/2004 2:17:07 PM #
Looks great.

"Life is Too Short"
Clie UX50-Sony ericsson T610,HBH-60,SanDisk 256Mb Sd Card
Missing Stat
potter @ 9/15/2004 2:59:41 PM #
The one stat that is missing from the above table, that I would have like to know, is power. What is the power consumption of the OLED display as compared to the reference display?

RE: Looks great
danielpark @ 9/15/2004 3:40:32 PM #
From my understanding of OLED displays, power consumption is supposed to be very low, due to two factors:

1. No backlight is necessary.

2. Once the internal chemistry of the unit is changed to display a particular image, it can stay that way without consuming any power, until the screen changes. Theoretically, you could switch off the device and it could still display whatever was on there last, with zero power consumption.

I've been waiting for quality OLED implementation for some time now. It's going to revolutionize the handheld.

cheers, Daniel

RE: Looks great
LiveFaith @ 9/15/2004 4:33:55 PM #

While I understand that OLED tech is supposed to be lower power, the 2nd point about "non-powered-eternal-light" seems a bit ... should I say "perpetual-motion-machinish". If the light keeps going without power, them OPEC is dead and the world is turned upside down.

Think about it. Although, this is very exciting.

Pat Horne;

RE: Looks great
MountainLogic @ 9/15/2004 5:00:40 PM #
There are other technologies that match the second point. They are built on cells that change state with an electric charge and micro deform. They stay in position until a different voltage is applied. In the proto I saw you were able to disconnect the display from the driver and the image stayed on the screen. The catch is that the technology is (trans??) reflective. Cool stuff, real cheap to build, but it looked a litle slow in the early proto I saw.

RE: Looks great
tooele @ 9/15/2004 7:35:48 PM #
This is interesting technology it seems to have many advantages especially for mobile devices. It's small and consumes little power while having a good display.

RE: Looks great
indesman @ 9/16/2004 12:27:40 AM #
While the image may remain it won't be emitting any light without some sort of power input. The analogy to something that changes state and then remains there doesn't hold. Emission of photons is a continuous process, not a state change.

RE: Looks great
JonathanChoo @ 9/16/2004 1:03:42 AM #
>> 2. Once the internal chemistry of the unit is changed to display a particular image, it can stay that way without consuming any power, until the screen changes. Theoretically, you could switch off the device and it could still display whatever was on there last, with zero power consumption.

The technology you are refering to is E Ink. Check out the Sony Librie which features the screen.

Generic PDA > 5mx > Vx > m505 > N770C > T625C > NR70V > e310 > m550 > h2210 > T/T3 & h4150
StarTac > T28m > T39m > T68m > T610 > T630 > K700i (nxt week)

RE: Looks great
MountainLogic @ 9/16/2004 6:49:38 PM #
Another static reflective technlogy:

OLEDs and T5?

vike @ 9/15/2004 2:36:49 PM #
What are the odds that T5 rollout has been on hold for mass production of OLEDs? ...

RE: OLEDs and T5?
JarJar @ 9/15/2004 3:07:04 PM #
Probably not. The T5 would has been in design for a while (possibly started in 2003) and they wouldn't have designed it for a screen that didn't exist.

The requirements for the OLED and LCD screen are quite different, you can't interchange them overnight. But it can be done, so hopefully we'll see OLED Palm device soon!

RE: OLEDs and T5?
danielpark @ 9/15/2004 3:50:57 PM #
These screens have been announced to the public just today, but it's likely that Palmsource has known about it for some time, and even had nifty prototypes to play with. I still find it unlikely that the next crop of Palm devices will sport OLED displays, but it's far from an impossibility.

cheers, Daniel

RE: OLEDs and T5?
LiveFaith @ 9/15/2004 4:38:22 PM #
I like you and Daniel venture to say PalmOne will not release the "T5" with OLED. Although, I know that Palm had the T3 HVGA screens in prototypes over 6 months before release. OLEDs are being "mass" produced next month, therefore handbuilt units for test were certainly around for many months. Even long enough to have P1 tested and ready.

Somebody's gotta release devices from the mass-production. Two reasons why P1 will not IMO ...
#1 Against their character to pioneer this way (hope I'm wrong)
#2 Notice the excess width of this OLED. The T5 (and others) would take a major form factor change to encase this. Another pioneering thing I doubt the "market leader" will try (hope I'm wrong v2.0)

Pat Horne;

RE: OLEDs and T5?
Wollombi @ 9/16/2004 6:42:36 PM #
OTOH, Kodak has been producing OLED displays for some time now.


Always remember that you are unique. Just like everyone else.

Life Span?

The Black Moose @ 9/15/2004 4:43:54 PM #
I read that the major problem with these OLED displays was their short life span. Evidently, exposure to oxygen deteriorated the diodes on the screens causing a decrease in their effectiveness. Did I miss the part where sony solved this problem?
RE: Life Span?
JarJar @ 9/15/2004 6:02:30 PM #
Sony hasn't entirely solved this problem. This is why OLED won't be used in monitors just yet.

However, PDAs screens are only on a few hours a month anyway and the useful life expectancy of a PDA is far less than say a family television.

RE: Life Span?
JonathanChoo @ 9/16/2004 1:13:06 AM #
10,000 hours approx life span.

And nobody here uses their PDA for few hours a month. I think the majority of palminfocenter visitors probably use their PDA 30 minutes minimum a day. ;)

Generic PDA > 5mx > Vx > m505 > N770C > T625C > NR70V > e310 > m550 > h2210 > T/T3 & h4150
StarTac > T28m > T39m > T68m > T610 > T630 > K700i (nxt week)

RE: Life Span?
alanh @ 9/17/2004 3:49:17 PM #
I keep my T|T in the cradle when I'm at work and the screen stays on. That's ~40 hours/week right there or about 2000/year. With 10,000 hour life span, that's still more than 4 years of life even if I use it an additional hour every day.



LiveFaith @ 9/15/2004 4:45:53 PM #
Two specs I'm interested in ...

#1 Physical weight. It sound lightweight, which is very important. An HVGA screen is a large part of a handhelds weight. Reducing weight makes devices pocketable. If my shirt pocket hangs to my waste, then it is irrellevant how small the device is.

#2 "Overhang" requirements. How much of that "inert" overhang area is a must? One barrier to the "perfect PDA" imo is the wasted frontal real estate that could be utilized for larger screen size. If all OLEDs require that chunk of circuitry then the devices will have to encase it. Can it be folded into the thickness?

Awesome advancement nonetheless.

Pat Horne;

outdoor visibility?

hatepalm @ 9/16/2004 8:51:49 AM #
I wish it would performance as well as the b&w screen of my old palm V in an ourtdoor environment. Does its brightness help?
RE: outdoor visibility?
Wollombi @ 9/16/2004 6:44:34 PM #
One of the Motorola Timeport phones had a color OLED display that was readable no matter how much light you shone on it. It was incredibly bright, with little power consumption.

With a constrast ratio of 1000:1, it lessens the likely hood of an "unviewable" screen.


Always remember that you are unique. Just like everyone else.

for Laptop??

batmon @ 9/16/2004 6:27:15 PM #
If they can do this for 12.1" or 14" laptop, then we can have battery life more then 10 hours!! Looking forward to it. :-)


RE: for Laptop??
beardsm87 @ 9/17/2004 7:56:07 AM #

CLIE UX50 + OLED screen + 128 MB RAM = perfection

The_Voice_of_Reason @ 9/22/2004 9:43:28 PM #
After four years of teasing PDA buyers with a stream of models that each had great ideas always spoiled by one or two glaring faults, Sony was one release away from the perfect design. The UX100 mini laptop with 4 inch OLED screen, 128 MB RAM (104 MB user-accessible), portrait + landscape views, 5 hour battery life, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and keyboard was the grand slam home run they were about to hit. But then Sony-san called Barry Bonds out of the on deck circle and forfeited the game with the bases still loaded and no one out. Bizarre. But typical Sony-Style Schizophrenia.

For the few of us fortunate to have a UX50 and the VR100K Memory Stick recorder (records TV shows, videos, etc. directly to Memory Stick + works just like a digital VCR), just looking at the el cheapo designs Palm is trying to sell as cutting edge is enough to now force serious consideration of switching to PPC.

Despite what Dynamism hopes, an English localization of the VZ90 is unlikely any time soon (and besides the screen, the VZ90 is inferior to the UX series design anyway) so expect massive defections to the PPC camp over the next six months. Palm's Board of Directors make Nero look like a genius.

At least the new Treo will be made by a better quality contractor than the schlockmeisters that were cobbling together that proof of concept better known as the Treo 600. Sorry, Palm: FAR too little, FAR too late.

Sony CLIE UX100: 128 MB real RAM, OLED screen. All the PDA anyone really ever wanted.



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